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Fireys battle East Gippsland fires
Firefighters from across Victoria, interstate and New Zealand continue to battle several fires across East Gippsland but with conditions easing in the area, fire services are hopeful the worst has passed.
Orbost Incident Controller Ross Williamson said 11 fires are not yet under control and more than 130,000 hectares has burnt.
“Unfortunately, after the severe fire weather on Sunday, 11 houses, 8 sheds, 5 vehicles and livestock were lost and there was some fence damage,” he said.
“Firefighters worked extremely hard on asset protection leading up to Sunday and some great work was done but the extreme weather conditions caused some fires to jump containment lines.”
The three largest fires at Deddick Trail, Jacksons Crossing and Mt Jersey made large runs on Sunday, with the largest fire at Goongerah-Deddick Trail now covering about 80,000 hectares.
Mr Williamson said air and ground observers spent all day yesterday doing an initial assessment of the fire affected areas.
“Our focus today and the next few days is controlling parts of the fires that pose the greatest risk, asset protection through burning out, community recovery and implementing our strategic plan to bring all of these fires under control,” he said.
Recovery teams have started working in private land affected by fires which include agricultural assessment teams to help determine the number of stock losses.
Bonang Road remains closed which is blocked by fallen trees. While work has begun to reopen the road, this could take a few days. Up to date information can be found on the VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
Several forest roads and tracks are also closed to the public. For more information go to the Parks Victoria website www.parks.vic.gov.au
The Orbost and Cann River relief centres are closed but the Delegate Country Club relief centre remains open.
More than 500 firefighters and incident management teams will continue to work on the fires in the area.
Losses as of 11 Feb 2014:
Cabanandra: 6 houses, 5 sheds, 2 vehicles
Martins Creek: 3 houses, 3 sheds, 1 vehicle
Goongerah: 2 houses, 2 vehicles
Deddick Valley: fence damage
For information on fires in Victoria and general fire safety, please contact the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on freecall 1800 240 667. Callers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment can contact VBIL via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677. People should also tune in to their emergency broadcasters: ABC Local Radio, commercial radio and designated community radio stations or SKY NEWS Television.
A community meeting will be held at 1.00pm tomorrow (12 Feb) at:
Delegate Country Club (relief centre)
Bombala Street, Delegate NSW 2633
Photos taken by Mike Irvine, Air Attack Supervisor, Parks Victoria